Marine Litter

 Marine Litter prevention Protecting water sources and preventing any harm from plastic materials is a priority for CPIA and the plastics industry.

In Canada, we enjoy access to clean water in lakes, rivers, ponds and oceans. This is a privilege.

Clean water forms the basis of safe and prosperous communities and it is an increasingly scarce resource in several communities and countries around the world.

Litter does not belong in any waterway and like all materials, plastics can enhance our lives when responsibly used, reused, recycled and finally recovered for their energy value. CPIA works with governments, retailers, anti-litter groups and consumers to devise solutions to prevent marine debris and provide support for education programs to prevent it in the first place.

We are committed to innovative recycling and recovery programs nationwide and worldwide. Here’s how.


Commitments to future without plastic waste

Raising Awareness

Global DeclarationCPIA is a member of the Global Plastics Industry group, Marine Litter Solutions, which contributes to solutions by working in public-private partnerships aimed at preventing marine debris. For complete details visit


Reducing marine litter starts with understanding it. We work with the scientific community and researchers to understand and evaluate the scope, origins, impact of and potential solutions to marine litter.

Promoting Best Policies

CPIA promotes establishing science-based policies and enforcing regulations and local bylaws to prevent marine litter as demonstrated for example, in our advocacy for effective policies to phase out microbeads in personal care products.  Find out more about microbeads

Promoting Action and Sharing Knowledge

CPIA sponsors and takes part in activities and special events such as the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to clean up marine areas, and to spread the knowledge and resources we gain from these and other activities. We promote effective litter management and responsible waste management practices for all Canadians and provide resources to enable municipalities and others to help spread the word. Find out more about CPIA and Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

Preventing Pellet Losses with Operation Clean Sweep®

CPIA promotes safe and environmentally sustainable transport and distribution of plastic resin pellets and products from supplier to customer to prevent product loss, which could result in the introduction of pellets to waterways where they can become a threat to marine and wildlife. Through Operation Clean Sweep – the plastics industry commits to effective pellet management in an international effort to prevent marine litter. 


Microbeads are tiny plastic particles included in personal care products as exfoliating agents. They are designed to be washed down the sink, then to be managed in waste water treatment systems. If not filtered out though, they can emerge in aquatic habitats. For this reason, CPIA supports personal care companies in their voluntary efforts to phase out microbeads and is on record as bans on microbeads. CPIA is participating in consultation on this issue and provides updates as they become available. For more information view: CPIA Newsroom – Industry Issues

CPIA Marine Litter Initiatives